EMOTIONAL EATS

Getting Through Life One Recipe at a Time

Tag: easy (page 1 of 3)

Lala’s Sweet Potato Cake

In high school, my brother’s girlfriend Lala was like the older sister I never had, never knew I wanted, but was so happy to find.

As we’ve grown our relationship has changed. Big sister/little sister. Peers. Best Friends. And sometimes something resembling employer/employee (I say that lovingly, of course). However, the one dynamic that hasn’t changed is the eater/feeder status.

I bake. Lala eats.

Years ago for her birthday, I brought her a huge Sweet Potato Cake from the bakery where I worked. Late into the evening, we sat at her kitchen table plunging our forks deep into this behemoth. We ate, we laughed and we ate some more. We munched so much that we had to crawl on all fours to her living room where we laid on the couch rubbing our bloated bellies.

I remember feeling warm and fuzzy in a way that only best friends and cake can accomplish.

Happy to be with Lala and share a slice (a couple of slices) of nicely spiced cake with velvety cream cheese frosting.

I hope you’ll make some for the Lala in your life too.

I know that you know that you need to measure out all your ingredients.

Cream together brown sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

Add mashed sweet potato and crushed pineapple with juice.

Stir in dry ingredients.

Place in a 9×13 inch cake pan that has been greased and lined with parchment.

Bake at 350°F for 30 – 35 minutes until lightly browned around the edges and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.

While the cake cools, make the frosting. Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Blend with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.

Spread cream cheese frosting over cooled cake.

Decorate with pecans.

Eat!

Lala's Sweet Potato Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 large)*
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 rounded teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 large eggs
1 (8oz) can of crushed pineapple

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Line the dish with parchment and grease the parchment.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time.

Add the vanilla.

Add the mashed sweet potatoes* and pineapple with juice and beat with a hand mixer until combined.

Mix in the dry mixture until just combined.

Pour into the 9×13 inch baking dish.

Place in the preheated oven.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until browned around the edges and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

While the cake is cooling, make the icing.

Frost the cake and decorate as you desire! I used pecans for natural flare!

Notes –

To make the sweet potatoes, wash and dry your potatoes, leaving the skin on. Prick them with a fork and microwave for 10 minutes, rotating them at the five minute mark. Scrape the meat out of the skins and mash it with a fork. Measure out 1 1/2 cups and allow to cool. You may have extra (eat it).

Blue Eyes Blueberry Ice Cream

A few summers ago I ran into my first crush. I was in our little town grocery in Maine when, suddenly, I hear my mom squeal with delight. An old friend, a boy we hadn’t seen in years. He looked just the same and when our eyes met, I was immediately transported to the summers of my youth spent nursing a not-so-secret crush. Subtlety has never been a strength of mine.

I am sure he wasn’t transported anywhere. He was probably trying to figure out why my eyes had suddenly glazed over and my mouth hung open while looking nervously at the bottle of sesame oil that threatened to fall from my slackened grasp.

The flashbacks started in. Memories of splashing about in the ocean together, a fuzzy recollection of a piggy-back ride that ended with us piled in a tangle of legs and arms on the sand-coated grass. I remember my brother and I would sneak over to meet him at his grandparents’ house to eat bowls of blueberry ice cream. His tan skin, and bright blond hair, those blue eyes – he was and IS still a knockout.

With each passing summer, the crush intensified. When I was in ninth grade, no longer be-spectacled and porky, I thought, “maybe this summer I say something. Maybe this summer I make my move. It’s time to grow a pair and do something!” But I never got my chance….

In an odd and cruel plot twist to this romantic fantasy, it turns out my blue-eyed childhood crush is actually my blue-eyed COUSIN.

Somehow, our parents discovered that my dad’s cousin is also his dad’s cousin by marriage or something. Phew…no blood. But still. BASICALLY MY COUSIN.

……

 

……

 

……

Sorry…I was just composing myself for a moment.

My puppy love was dashed; but, one love remained – the blueberry ice cream from his grandparents’  house. The flavor has stuck with me all these years, and seeing his handsome face and tanned skin…..(stop it!) Well anyway, seeing him again reminded me how wonderful that ice cream was.

This ice cream is crazy creamy with just the right level of sweetness. The blueberries are cooked into a jam-like consistency before they are added to a velvety vanilla ice cream base. It screams summer, it screams Maine, it cushions the blow of finding out you were in love with your cousin.

I hope you’ll make some and share it with the people you love – your friends, your family and maybe even your secret crush or cousin.

Enjoy!

Ice cream is surprisingly simple. It has…let me count…8 ingredients. Did I do that right?

First make the blueberry swirl. Place blueberries in a sauce pot with the sugar and lemon. Stir to combine.

Cook until thick, jammy (and steamy!!). Set aside to cool while you make the vanilla base.

Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla.

Fold the whole milk mixture into the whipped cream gently. Be careful not to deflate the whipped cream.

Pour the vanilla base into a bread pan, alternating with the blueberry.

Once you have added all the vanilla base and blueberry, run a knife through the pan to create swirls. Place in the freezer and freeze overnight.

Take the ice cream out of the freezer five minutes before you are ready to serve.

Look at that luscious swirl! It’s dreamy.

What a looker! This cousin…I mean cone…is easy on the eyes. One bite and you’ll be in love.

Blue Eyes Blueberry Ice Cream

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
250 grams of frozen blueberries
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of whole milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

Place the blueberries, lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes over medium-low heat while stirring occasionally.

Once the blueberries are thick and jam-like, remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

To make the vanilla base, beat the heavy whipping cream in a large bowl until it holds stiff peaks.

In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla.

Fold the whole milk mixture into the whipped cream gently. Be careful not to deflate the whipped cream.

Layer the vanilla base and blueberry mixture into a loaf pan in alternating additions.

Run a knife back and forth through the mixture to swirl it.

Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.

Take the ice cream out to soften for five minutes before you are ready to serve.

Scoop to your heart’s desire.

 

 

Bachelorette Brownies

Plastic cups, marshmallow vodka, pink beads, and phallic-shaped party favors – The Bachelorette Party.

Technically, it was a Bachelor/Bachelorette party, as both guys and girls packed into a house on the North Carolina coastline for a weekend of frivolity.

Per usual, I felt the need to bring something. It comes with my occupation of never a bridesmaid, never a bride – oh, I mean, once a baker, always a baker or something like that.

In addition to biscuits, cookies, and morning pancakes, I decided to make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies – something a little special for someone little and special, the bride.

I am at that age, you know it, when people start to get married, have kids, buy houses, move away, lose touch.

But she has an often forceful way of keeping us all together.

I’ve always found that brownies accomplish the same. The smell of chocolate and peanut butter manages to dominate stale beer and salty bathing suits, bringing us all to the kitchen to eat together even if only briefly.

So these are for her.

Get out your brownie making ingredients.

Whisk together butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Add eggs in one at a time.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Fold in chocolate chips. Spread brownie batter in a 9in x 13in pan that has been lightly greased and lined with parchment.

Make the peanut butter swirl. Place powdered sugar, peanut butter, melted butter, and vanilla in a bowl.

Whisk until smooth.

Dollop that peanut goop all over the brownie batter.

Use a butter knife and swirl.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 35 – 40  minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and sharing!

I may not be a bridesmaid but I am so glad to have been included in the Bachelorette Weekend. I even kept the temporary tattoos and pink beads….just in case I need to dress like Ke$ha anytime soon.

The recipe –

Bachelorette Brownies

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients: 
2 sticks of butter, melted
3 cups of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Swirl:
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Make the brownie batter by whisking together the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time.

Fold the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spread the brownie batter in a 9in x13in pan that has been lightly greased and lined with parchment.

Next, make the Peanut Butter Swirl.

Whisk together the butter, peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla.

Dollop the peanut butter mixture over the brownies and use a butter knife to drag it through the batter creating the swirl.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until a toothpick come out mostly clean (maybe a few wet crumbs).

Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!

 

Perfect Peach Pie

I’ve asked before. Maybe you remember.

I asked you to describe your perfect afternoon. The sights, the smells, the whole situation. Can you taste it?

I shared mine. It was walking the streets of Charlottesville on a gorgeous Autumn morning, hand-in-hand with a plaid-shirted kid from ceramics class. The taste of that impossibly moist Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread we split and enthusiastically dunked into coffee over a game of chess in a hole-in-the-wall with a name I can’t remember and probably never knew, the flavor of an overly fantastic day.

Well, that was then and this is now.

That was him and this is them. This is Captain Kevin.

For a friend’s birthday, a group of us decided to hit the high seas (okay…the Chesapeake Bay) and charter a sailboat out of the middle of Where-the-hell-am-I, Maryland for an afternoon of drinking, sailing, socializing and, for me, pretending I was in the movie Jaws and mentally referring to myself as Hooper.

Adding to the atmosphere, our guide, a real-life Quint, Captain Kevin, a salt-of-the-earth boatsman who had it all. The leathery tanned skin, cigarette between his teeth, dented beer can in his calloused fist, that nautical nature that can make an old man sexy and scary at the same time. The attitude, that swag, the all important playful patronizing of this little sea-legged lass in a fancy dress, red-lipped, shooting off high-pitched giggles, thrilled by the adventure.

Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain. For we’ve received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so never more shall we see you again.

Between me and Quint, I mean, Capt. Kev, there is bound to be a romance novel in there somewhere…but that’s another fantasy…

Moving on…

I sat precariously perched on my actual boyfriend’s lap, his fingers closing around my waist as swells swayed us, and I watched as my favorite people filled their faces with my mini peach crumb pies. I felt bubbly and happy… and tipsy.

Glad to have friends and a reason to celebrate. Appreciative of the warm sun on my face and transfixed by gorgeous blues and greens that whizzed past me. Quite pleased to be wrapped up in the arms of my handsome man on this even more excellent Autumn day.

And well, flattered, tempted by but also a little uncomfortable about Captain Kev’s offer to sail to Florida with him and leave the world I know behind.

It was a perfect day deserving of a perfect pie. So what to do? Easy. My fail-safe AP Pie Dough is flaky and crisp, filled to the brim with juicy, sweet, lightly spiced peaches. And my favorite part? The crumb topping – sugary, cinnamon-y, crunchy.

Make one full pie or make minis. Either way you can’t go wrong and I promise your pie-eating pals will thank you for this picture perfect peach pie.

Ahoy! I mean…Enjoy!

To begin, make a half recipe of my All Purpose Pie Dough (click here for recipe)! Let pie dough chill in fridge for an hour. While the pie dough chills, make the crumb topping. Place brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Dice cold butter.

Add butter to dry ingredients.

Work butter in with hands until it is the size of peas and the mixture is like wet sand. Set aside.

To make the filling, chop peaches and place in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon.

Sprinkle dry mixture over peaches and stir to combine. Let the peaches sit for 30 minutes to release their juices.

Roll out pie dough and place in pie pan.

Fill with peach mixture, top with crumb topping, brush edges with egg wash.

Place in a 350°F oven and bake for 45 minutes. Cover the pie with foil and bake for another 25 minutes until the peaches are bubbling and the crust is golden.

Look at it. It’s the perfect pie. A little rustic, a little jazzy, juicy peaches, crunchy crumb – nothing beats it.

We ate it on a boat, you could too.

Would you believe my mom and I snuck onto a local boat for the shot?

Perfect Peach Pie

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
1/2 recipe of All Purpose Pie Dough
4 peaches, diced
1/2 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 egg, for egg wash

For crumb topping:
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup of cold butter, diced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

First, make half a recipe of All Purpose Pie Dough and place it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Next, make the crumb topping. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the chopped butter. Using your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is the size of peas and the mixture is like a semi-wet sand. Place in the fridge while you make the filling.

Chop peaches and place in a large bowl. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the dry mixture over the peaches and toss to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pie dough and place in a pie plate. Add peach filling and top with crumb topping. Run egg wash around the edge of the pie crust.

Transfer the pie to the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake for another 25 minutes.

Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!

My Dad’s Apple Pie

My dad is my best friend (mom and brother too!). He is kind, smart, supportive, and loving; but, when it comes to apple pie – he’s so picky it is maddening.

“Too many apples. The apples aren’t soft enough. The apples aren’t sweet enough. What is that, lemon zest? No.” My brother even chimes in, insisting that crumb toppings are “lazy.” You see what I have to deal with? I thought being a Culinary Institute of America trained, former New York City pastry chef would give me a little authority on the apple pie discussion – I was very wrong.

You know what’s even crazier? He’s not looking for anything fancy – he loves the store bought! He likes the canned filling!

Pie after pie I made, still with no success. I wasn’t about to stand down. I was determined to make an apple pie my dad would love – as pie is almost as important to our family as being right is. After much necessary research, aka pie eating, I came up with a strategy. I would precook chunks of apple and, in doing so, soften them and create that sweet and sticky goo he adores. And forghetta about anything fancy like lemon zest! Butter, cinnamon, sugar, apples – old school.

Dad deemed my final pie worthy so I put one in the win category and kept the recipe. A pie I feared would be boring and old fashioned is, well, delightful and old fashioned. The crust is an old standby, perfect for all kinds of pies. The fillin’? An oozy, gooey, appley interior with just the right amount of spice. It is like a river of sweet apple flavored magma. This pie doesn’t even need vanilla ice cream but I won’t discourage!

Bring this pie to your next party and be prepared to see smiles. If it can impress my dad, it can impress anyone. Really. Enjoy!

The ingredients of my apple pie are very simple – apples, butter, salt, cinnamon, clove, cornstarch and brown sugar. You’ve got that stuff, we all have that stuff.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped apples, salt, spices, sugar and cornstarch. Toss to combine.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 – 40 minutes until the apples are soft and the “goo” has thickened.

Chillin’ the fillin’ makes for a nice thick, gooey, consistency. It will chill faster if you spread it out in one layer and pop it in the fridge. While the filling chills completely, make my All Purpose Pie Dough

Once the filling is completely cool and the pie dough has chilled for 30 minutes, you can assemble the pie. Roll out the bottom crust and lay in an ungreased pie dish. Fill.

Top with second 1/2 of dough, make a vent, and brush with egg wash.

Place in an oven that has been preheated to 350°F. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

I happened to make this pie for Father’s Day, how appropriate! My dad said, “This is some serious good pie.” I bet you’ll agree.

Enjoy!

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
3 – 4 Fuji Apples, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 egg, beaten

1 recipe of All Purpose Pie Dough

Directions: 

To make the filling, melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Add apples, sugar, salt, spices, and cornstarch. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes over medium-low heat until the “goo” has thickened and the apples are fork tender.

When ready, transfer the apples to a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat (for easy clean up) and smooth them out into one even layer. Place in the fridge to chill.

While the filling is chilling, make the pie dough. Divide the dough into two, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

When everything has cooled, assemble the pies. Roll out one of the doughs and place it into an ungreased pie plate.

Fill with apple filling.

Use the one egg to make an egg wash and brush some around the edge of the bottom crust.

Roll out second portion of dough and lay overtop the apples. Press the edges down to seal. You can crimp the edge however you like.

Cut slits in the top of the pie and brush with the egg wash.

Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Serve warm!

Almond Butter Chipwich

The summers of my childhood were an orchestra of sensations. The smell of chlorine, the hot summer sun, and a delicate trickle of vanilla ice cream dripping down my chunky forearms as I stood barefoot in the cul de sac having successfully chased down the ice cream truck.

What an unbelievably magical scene – the sudden arrival of that unforgettable tune, the scramble of kids and mothers ripping through pool bags to find cash, towels rippling in the wind, slung carelessly across our shoulders as we ran for our lives out of the swimming pool complex and into the street, unashamed of our awkward preteen bodies. As a kid on the plush side, this run was likely the only strenuous physical activity I’d have all summer.

While my more sophisticated friends dabbled in Choco-Tacos, Firecrackers, and those ever-so-technologically advanced Push Pops, I was always a sucker for a classic, the Chipwich.

As we stood in line, there was a lot of “What are you getting?” “Well what are YOU getting?” Perhaps my unchanging answer of “Chipwich” never inspired any “oohs” or “ahhs” from the gang; but, when the transaction was settled and my Chipwich was in hand, I think the Push Pop crowd showed signs of reluctant envy.

Two chocolate chip cookies gently embracing a cloud of vanilla ice cream, it was absolute perfection. The sticky hands, chocolate-stained face, pool water stiffened hair, and full stomach were always the markers of a great day.

The classic is great but here is my slightly updated version, Chipwhich 2.0. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almond Butter Ice Cream. The chocolate cookies are crazy rich and the almond butter ice cream is the perfect creamy complement.

Make some today and whisk away to your youth, even if only for a moment.

Get all your stuff out. Why a hammer you ask? I realized (too late) that I don’t own a can opener. So I used a hammer to access the evaporated milk and found it amusing.

Put all your ingredients in a bowl and whisk them, breaking up the almond butter and blending everything evenly.

Place the mixture in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’ s instructions. Spin it until it is the consistency of soft serve (that took about 35 minutes for me) and then place in an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours until firm.

While the ice cream is freezing bake a batch of my Chocolate Crush Cookies.

Once the ice cream is firm and the cookies are cool, make sandwiches! Act fast, or you’ll have melt on your hands.

Pool photos credited to the unbelievably talented Callie Broaddus. She’s more than a friend, she’s a photographer. My smile provided by the great Sanjida Rashid.

Look at that melt! After a minute in the D.C. heat the almond ice cream becomes incredibly soft and creamy.

Even after all these years, Chipwich is King!

Almond Butter Chipwich

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup of natural almond butter
1 1/4 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of almond extract 

1 batch of Chocolate Crush Cookies 

Directions:

Whisk together all ice cream ingredients in a large bowl, breaking up the almond butter and dissolving the sugar.

Place mixture into an ice cream spinner and follow manufacture’s instructions. Mine took about 35 minutes to reach soft serve-like consistency.

Once the ice cream resembles soft serve, remove it from ice cream maker and store in an airtight container in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until firm.

While the ice cream chills, make a batch of my Chocolate Crush Cookies.

When the ice cream is firm and the cookies have cooled, assemble your sandwiches.

Eat!

Childhood Chocolate Honey Glazed Doughnuts

There’s a little doughnut shop, in a little town I have visited every summer since I was…well…little.

They make every variety of doughnut you can imagine: bear claws, cinnamon sugar, honey glazed, chocolate jimmy, jam filled. And when they sell out, sorry, they sell out.

When we were kids, my dad used to rouse my brother and me at the crack of dawn, load us in the car, and drive us there to stand in line and pick out our doughnuts.

As I stood there mean mugging people in front of me and snickering at those behind, I’d run the numbers to see if I’d get my flavor.

“Okay, four families in front of us, 16 people, 7 chocolate honey glazed left, if I put 10 over x, cross multiply, divide by the average of y, carry my decimal….yes okay, I should be able to get it.”

No matter the equation, it was never a guarantee, which made this family tradition exciting and terrifying for a young, chubby doughnut enthusiast.

We’d reach the counter, and I’d anxiously pull my dad’s sleeve, “Don’t forget the chocolate honey!!! Dad, remember the chocolate honey! Did you get the chocolate honey??”

Anticipation, stress, success!

We’d hop in the car with that grease-spotted, paper-lined, perfect box of doughnuts and will ourselves not to break the masking tape seal (though we usually would) until we were home and could finally dig in.

I think what I liked best about those doughnuts, other than the unique combination of chocolate cake and sweet honey glaze, was how they brought us together. As donuts can do.

We are grown. We have complicating factors. We can’t gather as easily around a box of doughnuts, but I wish we could like we did during my childhood.

For now, I’ll bake a batch of my own, hoping that when it is summer, my family will assemble—as we have every year—just the four of us, in that tiny town, with that perfect box of doughnuts.

Here’s my recipe:

Get your ingredients out and measured. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.

Add vanilla.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

Follow with 1/2 of the liquid.

Finish with second 1/3 of the dry, final 1/2 of the liquids, and final 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Pipe into a lightly greased doughnut pan.

Bake for 10 – 11 minutes until puffed. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

To make the honey glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, honey, and milk. Spoon over doughnuts. Let glaze set for 10 minutes.

If your family is like my family, the box of doughnuts won’t last long. Ours rarely made it out of the parking lot!

Chocolate Honey Glazed Doughnuts

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of freshly brewed coffee, cooled slightly 

For the Glaze:
2 cups of confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons of heavy cream or whole milk

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Combine heavy cream and coffee. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs in one at a time and beat until just incorporated.

Add vanilla.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed sugar-butter. Follow with 1/2 of the wet stuff. Add the second 1/3 of the dry, the final 1/2 of wet, and finish with the final 1/3 of dry ingredients.

Scrape down between additions.

Mix until just combined; don’t over work it.

Lightly grease a doughnut pan and add batter, filling wells 2/3 of the way up.

Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 10 – 11 minutes until puffed.

The cake is ready when it springs back to the touch.

Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before flipping out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.

Whisk together sugar, honey, and heavy cream or milk.

Glaze cooled doughnuts.

Let sit for 10 minutes until the glaze forms a shell.

Then enjoy!

 

Should Have Soufflés

I don’t believe in “should haves.” I hate the idea of looking back on big decisions and wishing I’d made them differently.

I like to think everything I’ve done, every choice I’ve made has led me here, to this version of myself, to this blog, to this life with you – my readers, my family, my friends, my boyfriend.

But there is one exception.

The White Barn Inn.

When I was looking for internships between my first and second year of culinary school, I interviewed at The White Barn Inn in Maine.

The kitchen was perfect, the people friendly, the pastries challenging, and the establishment well respected.

I worked the dessert station during a night of service. As my partner plated, I fired berry soufflés, quenelle’ed ice creams, warmed sauces, ate caramels, and felt at home.

It was the place, the perfect fit but stupidly, I didn’t choose it.

I chose a guy over a career, macaron madness over berry soufflé bliss.

Sometimes I think of what that summer would have looked like had I picked differently, what life would have looked like, but I dare not dwell too long in the past.

However, I couldn’t leave the soufflés behind. Light, airy, nice and berry, impressive but easy, they are everything a summer dessert should be even they remind me of a should have.

Here’s my recipe:

Is there anything better than a bowl of berries?

Place frozen berries, 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract in a sauce pan over medium flame.

Cook until berries bubble and start to break down. Carefully transfer berries to the blender and blend until smooth.

Pass berries through a fine mesh sieve back into the pot you cooked them in.

Bring berries to a boil and add cornstarch slurry (cornstarch + water). Whisk in. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

With a hand mixer beat eggs until frothy. Turn the speed up to high and stream in other 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat until thick and glossy.

Fold the cooled berry mixture into the egg whites, carefully.

Pretty pink! I don’t mind some swirls, I think they make each soufflé unique!

Butter ramekins and coat with granulated sugar. Tap out extra sugar. Fill to the top with soufflé batter. Smooth tops.

Place in a preheated 390°F oven. Bake for 12 minutes until puffed and the top is set.

Freakin’ A, look at that color!

Dust with powdered sugar. EAT.

Should Have Soufflés

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:
1 cup of sugar, divided in half, plus additional for ramekins
2 cups of frozen blueberries
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon of almond extract
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of water
3 egg whites

Directions:

Butter four small ramekins. Coat them with granulated sugar and tap out excess.

Place fruit, 1/2 cup of sugar, almond extract, and lemon juice in a sauce pot and cook over medium heat until the berries begin to break down.

Transfer the fruit to a blender and blend until smooth. Pass the fruit through a fine mesh sieve and place back in the pot you cooked it in. Turn on the heat, and let the berries boil. Whisk the cornstarch and water together. Add to the berries. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Set aside and let cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 390°F.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add sugar and beat on high speed until glossy and thick.

Fold the cooled berry mixture into the egg whites.

Scoop the batter into the prepared ramekins, filling all the way to the top. Smooth the tops and make sure there is no batter on the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until puffed and the tops are set.

Dust with powdered sugar and eat immediately!

 

Sweet Life Swedish Pancakes

Where am I? Maybe you don’t know. Sometimes I don’t even know. Sometimes I spring awake in the middle of the night and I’ve forgotten where I am, unable to return to sleep until I can remember.

But then I do remember, ah yes, I am in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps my favorite part of returning to D.C was reuniting with my friend Callie and meeting all her wonderful, funny, intelligent, kind, beautiful, lady friends.

You may even remember them from Social Scones.

They are the group of D.C girls I want to hang out with all the time.

Movie nights, morning teas with scones, Gushi (gym+sushi). Just young ladies, being together, and being ladies.

One night, with a Harry Potter playing of course, our friend Sanjida whipped up these amazingly light little pancake guys just for the hell of it. They were simple but so tasty, dusted with powdered sugar, drizzled with maple syrup, topped with berries, or (in my case) all of the above.

They were like edible clouds and I could have eaten 20 but as I was a guest, and (at the time) new to the friend group, I decided to, with great difficulty, restrain myself to one.

What a perfect night with perfect friends, a cup of tea, Swedish pancakes, and a movie marathon.

Maybe they remember it or maybe they don’t but I remember looking around at the scene, the smiles, and thinking to myself, “This really is the sweet life.”

So here’s a little treat for the sweet moments in your life.

Just a few things needed – flour, salt, sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, and water.

Put milk, water, vanilla, and eggs in a blender and mix.

Add flour and salt.

With the motor running, stream in the melted butter until smooth.

Melt a pat of butter in a non-stick pan. Add a little batter and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the edges start to curl up.

Cook on the other side for 2 minutes.

Serve these warm and share with friends or eat an entire batch by yourself while thinking of your friends. It all evens out.

Sweet Life Swedish Pancakes

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter, melted
additional butter for frying

Directions:

Place eggs, milk, water, sugar, and vanilla in a blender and mix until combined.

Add flour and salt and mix.

With the blender running, stream in the melted butter.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add a pat of butter.

When the butter is melted, pour in a small amount of batter and swirl it around to coat the pan.

Let cook for 2 – 3 minutes until lightly browned.

Flip and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes.

Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Serve immediately!

Big Dreams Brigadeiro

Shhh…

Don’t tell.

I feel weird saying it.

Okay, here it is: I always wanted to be a writer. A food writer.

I know. Me? A writer? A paid writer!?

No way!

But I briefly lived that dream as a “reporter” for Gael Greene’s Insatiable Critic.

Notepad in hand, hair in a smart bun, glasses always sliding down my nose, I canvassed the streets of New York looking for that new hot food item, the inside ice cream scoop, the baked good buzz.

One evening, I stumbled upon a little bakery with a name I couldn’t pronounce and a smell I couldn’t resist. “Brigadeiro… this has to be good,” I thought.

Because, what the hell is a brigadeiro?

After a bit of investigating, i.e. tasting, I determined the brigadeiro is … well … it’s like a truffle … nearly … kinda … or maybe a caramel. It’s a Brazilian treat that is stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth decadent and incredibly cute.

I can’t remember what I liked more, the out of this world sweet or entering the bakery and saying, “Hi, I’m Kaitlin. A writer from Insatiable Critic.”

“A writer.” Love that.

Maybe it hasn’t turned out as I imagined, but that doesn’t mean it can’t.

In my mind’s eye, I am sitting at a sturdy desk, riffling through notes, making deadlines, accumulating bylines. Rumpled papers litter my floor and my works are bound in a thick three-ring.

“Give Me Shelter” plays around me as I chase down that next lead in my slightly wrinkled Ann Taylor pantsuit. It’s all black coffee and chewed on Bic pens.

A girl can dream.

For now, I have my blog, and another blog, and I edit a bit on the side.

And currently, I have this batch of Big Dreams Brigadeiro I whipped up to serve as a reminder that it’s never too late to make something of myself.

Here’s hoping, oh yeah and a recipe:

So few ingredients. Just 4.

Put the condensed milk, cocoa powder, coffee powder, and butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.

Cook until thick and admittedly kind of gross looking. This will take about 6 – 8 minutes. Set aside and let cool completely. If you want to expedite the process, place in fridge for, ehhh 20 minutes.

Use a tablespoon to scoop mounds of mixture and roll into balls. Then roll them into the toppings you choose.

The classic is chocolate sprinkles, but coconut is great, a little pistachio, a rainbow sprinkle deal. Do what you want.

Here’s my little desk, where I dream my little dreams, hoping one day they will become reality.

Big Dreams Brigadeiro

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients: 
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of butter

Topppings:
crushed pistachios
chocolate sprinkles
rainbow sprinkles
cocoa nibs

Directions: 

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.

Cook over medium, while stirring, for 6 – 8 minutes until thick.

Set aside to cool.

Once cool, roll into balls and roll in toppings.

Eat!

If you aren’t going to serve immediately, keep in fridge.

Will stay good in an airtight container for a week.

Wanna read my original piece? Click here! 

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